Konica Minolta Age Discrimination “Relocation” Plan Class Action

When employers announce layoffs or transfers, are they inventing excuses to discriminate against older employees? The complaint for this class action allege that Konica Minolta, Inc. and Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA, Inc. violated New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJ LAD) and engaged in age discrimination, disparate treatment, and disparate impact against its older workers when it announced its intentions to transfer them to another facility.

The class for this action is similarly-situated employees over forty who worked in the Solutions Support Division who worked in the Windsor, Connecticut office and who were wrongfully terminated.

Plaintiff James Cezus was 56 and had worked for Konica Minolta for thirty-three years in December 2018. At that time, he was told that his Technology Support Manager position was being moved from the company’s Windsor, Connecticut facility to its facility in Ramsey, New Jersey. Cezus was told that if he did not agree to the relocation, the company would hire someone else for the position. According to the complaint, however, the company was simply eliminating Cezus’s position as well as the positions of 400 other employees over forty at the Connecticut facility.

The complaint alleges that Konica Minolta framed the terminations as relocations in order to “circumvent its defined severance and/or retirement plan … and avoid paying monetary benefits to Plaintiff Cezus and approximately 400 employees…” Nearly all of these workers lived in Connecticut, the complaint says, and they would not have been able to commute between their homes and the New Jersey facility, a 240-mile round trip. Only around 10% of the Connecticut employees accepted the relocation to New Jersey.

Most of the employees at the Connecticut facility were over the age of forty, the complaint says, and had worked for the company for over twenty years. It says they were therefore a protected class. The complaint alleges that the employees offered relocation or termination were selected because they were over forty years old.

The complaint alleges that Konica Minolta did not provide these employees with proper information and “willfully misrepresented that their job positions were not being eliminated and/or consolidated as part of a workforce reduction and rather a purported ‘job relocation’ business strategy.”

Because the company did not say it was “eliminating” the positions, the complaint says, the employees “were deemed ineligible for any severance and/or retirement benefits upon their termination…”

The complaint therefore claims that Cezus and the other workers “were denied equal protection under the NJ LAD” and did not get the kind of severance or retirement benefits that they should have.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Civil Rights

Most Recent Case Event

Konica Minolta Age Discrimination “Relocation” Plan Complaint

January 15, 2021

When employers announce layoffs or transfers, are they inventing excuses to discriminate against older employees? The complaint for this class action alleges that Konica Minolta, Inc. and Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA, Inc. violated New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJ LAD) and engaged in age discrimination, disparate treatment, and disparate impact against its older workers when it announced its intentions to transfer them to another facility.

Konica Minolta Age Discrimination “Relocation” Plan Complaint

Case Event History

Konica Minolta Age Discrimination “Relocation” Plan Complaint

January 15, 2021

When employers announce layoffs or transfers, are they inventing excuses to discriminate against older employees? The complaint for this class action alleges that Konica Minolta, Inc. and Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA, Inc. violated New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJ LAD) and engaged in age discrimination, disparate treatment, and disparate impact against its older workers when it announced its intentions to transfer them to another facility.

Konica Minolta Age Discrimination “Relocation” Plan Complaint
Tags: Age Discrimination, Civil Rights